Nursing Self Report Scale - HCS 350

EXAMPLE OF A NURSING SELF REPORT SCALE for HCS 350 (Professional Nursing Practice) at the University of Phoenix

Nursing Self Assessment Examples

Page 2 of 5 pages


OverviewThe Nursing Expertise Self Report Scale was developed from Patricia Benner’s model of clinical competence described in Benner and Benner (1984). Benner described three changes in performance as the nurse progresses from novice to expert practice. One change is from the reliance on rules and principles to the reliance on past experience to guide performance. The second change is a transition from viewing the clinical situation as a collection of equally important features to viewing the clinical situation as a whole, in which only a few features are important. The third change is the passage from detached observer to involved performer. Unique to the expert level of performance is the element of intuition. This scale is designed to measure self-perception of these three transitions and intuitive decision making.

Nursing Self Report Scale methodology is widely used in psychological and human subject research. Self-report methodology has the advantage of being versatile and direct in measuring feelings, values, opinions, and perceptions. However, the most limiting disadvantage is the concern for validity and accuracy of self-report. Therefore, the self-reported level of competence derived from the use of this scale may not correspond to the observed level of practice for an individual nurse. This scale is not intended as a substitute for observation and testing of competence in the clinical setting.

"The greatest results in life are usually attained by simple means and the exercise of ordinary qualities. These may for the most part be summed in these two: common-sense and perseverance."

~Owen Feltham

Potential uses for this Nursing Self Report Scale include: Designing educational offerings,Discussion and planning for transitions in care assignments, and Individual professional development planning.

Validity and ReliabilityReliability testing was done using a test–retest method. Content validity was reviewed by nurses in the practice of nursing staff development.

Nursing Self Report Scale Scoring and InterpretationThe Nursing Expertise Self-Report may be used with or without the demographic tool. Benner’s model discusses a potential relationship between experience and expertise, therefore the design of the demographic tool.

Scoring— The Expertise Nursing Self Report Scale has 20 items scored using a Likert scale from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree. For items 3, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, and 19, the Strongly Disagree response is identified as the Expert response. For the remaining items, the Strongly Agree response represents the Expert response. A value of 1 is given to the response that reflects novice practice. The expert response receives a score of 5. The potential minimum score, assuming a response on each item, is 20. The potential maximum score, assuming a response on each item, is 100. There are no identified point values that demark any specific level of competence. Lower aggregate totals show self-perception reflective of novice practice. Higher overall scores show self-perception reflective of expert practice.


Please circle the answer that best describes you.

  • 1. I am an: RN Other
  • 2. My job is: Staff nurse Assistant Nurse Manager Other
  • 3. Length of time since graduating as an RN: Under 6 months 6
  • months to 3 years More than 3 years
  • 4. Length of time working on your unit:: Under 6 months 6 months to
  • 3 years More than 3 years
  • 5. Previous experience in nursing prior to graduating as an RN: Under
  • 6 months 6 months to 3 years More than 3 years

The following is a list of statements about nursing care. Please circle the number that best represents your agreement with the statement.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Agree
  3. Unsure
  4. Disagree
  5. Strongly Disagree
  • 1. I often know ahead of time that my patient will take a turn for the worse. 1
  • 2. I frequently draw on past experiences when making patient care decisions. 2
  • 3. Quality nursing care results from strictly adhering to policy and procedure. 5
  • 4. When I do patient care, only a few pieces of information stand out as critically important. 2
  • 5. I am consciously aware of the process of decision making in patient care. 1
  • 6. Emotional attachments get in the way of good nursing care. 5
  • 7. When something goes wrong with my patient, I seem to know automatically what to do. 2
  • 8. Sometimes I find it difficult to identify objective reasons for certain patient care decisions. 2
  • 9. The best way to give good nursing care is to get close to the patient. 2
  • 10. I find it time consuming to set priorities in patient care. 5
  • 11. I make my best decisions about patient care when I remain objective. 4
  • 12. In an emergency, things happen so quickly that I don’t know what to do. 5
  • 13. I base my patient care decisions more often on the rules that I learned in nursing school than on my experience in patient care. 5
  • 14. It seems obvious to me what things need to be done first for my patients. 2
  • 15. I use facts such as lab values and vital signs as my main source of information for making patient care decisions. 5
  • 16. I usually require a lot of information about a patient care situation before I am comfortable with making a decision. 4
  • 17. I do my best nursing care when I become truly involved with the patient. 1
  • 18. I am comfortable with altering standard patient care procedures when I see the need. 3
  • 19. Sudden patient care emergencies usually come as a complete surprise to me. 5
  • 20. Most often I find myself relying on gut feelings when it comes to patient care. 5

Source: Reprinted with permission from G. Garland, Self-Report of Competence, Journal of Nursing Staff Development, Vol. 12, No. 4, p. 197, 1996, Lippincott-Raven.

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